Schools are among the safest places in our communities and parents should have every confidence sending their children to these educational havens. Yet, according to Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011, (Washington DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education and Statistics 2011) in 2010, a greater number of students ages 12-18 were victims of violent crimes in the school than out of the school.

Unfortunately, school violence is a serious problem that no school can afford to ignore. Even small disturbances are not as harmless as we might like to imagine and can be indicators of bigger problems or future crisis.

However, there are measures that drastically reduce the likelihood of violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research shows using multiple prevention strategies and levels of influence and intervention, can reduce violence and improve the school environment.

Best Ways to Improve School Safety

Since there is no way to predict a crime, and likewise no one factor that causes crime, it is imperative to use several methods to increase school safety. Your safety measures should include a combination tactical improvements, as well as measures that involve the staff, parents, students, and community. Here are some key ways you can improve school safety.

1. Start at the Personal Level

Develop programs that help students learn conflict resolution, communication, teamwork, and emotional awareness. Bridge the gaps in the teacher/staff and student relationship by developing better communication, positive engagement, and creating a more community oriented atmosphere. Improve access to school counseling.

2. Involve Parents and the Community in the Prevention of Violence

By involving parents in a well-developed crime prevention program they are more able to enforce the strategies at home and able to spot possible threats in the community. In many cases, just having an increased parental/adult presence in the school is a powerful force in preventing violence. Programs and training can also help the community deal with a crisis, should one occur.

3. Consider Tactical Improvements

Every educational institution should consider implementing the tools that will help keep students and staff safe and aid law enforcement in the event of a crisis. For example, school facilities should have a comprehensive security system that incorporates a video surveillance system. Consider a system that allows remote (such as with a smartphone) and centralized locking for the swiftest and most controlled lockdown procedures. Make sure every building is clearly labeled from all angles, including the roof. Both staff and students should be trained in emergency procedures.

About Security Instrument

At Security Instrument, we are here to answer your questions and address your concerns about school security. We’ve been proving integrated solutions for schools and campuses since 1960.

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffee pot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smart phone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Security Instrument a call today.

Facilities such as restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have some important commonalities when it comes to security issues. They are all busy, serve alcohol, have high customer turnover, high employee turnover and are heavy on cash transactions. These factors all necessitate special security camera considerations, unlike those of other commercial facilities. Having a security system is really not enough. You must have one with the right technologies and components, and then optimize it for the greatest advantage in your specific facility, meeting your unique needs.

If you have a high-traffic venue with heavy cash transactions, consider these valuable tips to boost your security.

Convert to IP or Megapixel  Security Cameras

Businesses such as restaurants and bars deal in large sums of cash and most of them have security cameras monitoring cash handling areas. To have a clear enough picture to consistently ensure that cash is handled properly, use IP or megapixel security cameras which provide the highest resolution possible. HD security cameras are also valuable in aiding law enforcement in facial recognition in the event of a crime.

Pro Tip: Never compromise your security. Always use professionally designed and installed security camera systems, specifically designed your needs.

 

Get the Whole Picture

In busy establishments, it is important to capture the whole picture. Rather than a multitude of fixed security cameras, consider installing a Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera, which can be controlled to cover areas of interest or a 360° camera which can capture all the action without lapses or limitations in the field of vision.

Protect Your Liquor License and in Litigation

Whenever alcohol is served there is the potential for individuals to become less in control, and combative. The industry is rife with claims of slip and fall, assault, or having been over-served and the resulting litigation is costly to the point of jeopardizing even larger businesses.

Equip your facility with enough cameras that you can cover such things as entrances and exits, the condition of floors, and provide a full view of visitors. This will provide verifiable proof of when patrons enter and in what condition. It will also verify the condition of the facility or participants in altercations.

Equip the Security Camera System for Low Light Conditions

The lighting conditions in bars and nightclubs can be challenging and can impact the quality of your security camera footage. To avoid this problem, use cameras that are designed for day and night usage and ones equipped with infrared technologies. Cameras that are ill-fit for the lighting conditions cannot provide the results you might need for confirming activities.

Opt into Remote Monitoring Smart Security Camera Systems

The nature of the job keeps owners and managers busy, and sometimes off premises. Smart security systems provide remote viewing capabilities so you can (nearly) be two places at once. This can allow you to address issues in real-time, even when you are attending to other business matters outside of the facility. This also allows you to view and manage more than one facility at once.

About Security Instrument 

Never compromise your security. Always use professionally designed and installed security camera systems, specifically designed your needs. Security Instrument Corp serves thousands of customers throughout DE, MD, NJ, and PA with advanced security solutions.

 

Is your security “bad guy” focused? For many years, most retail establishments saw retail security systems purely from the perspective of catching theft, shoplifting and employee theft. Loss prevention certainly is an important part of any retail security system, but commercial security technologies also offer far more capabilities and potential to your business. If your security is hyper-focused on malicious activities, then you are missing out on huge advantages.

Protecting Assets Using Retail Security Technology

The 2016 National Retail Security Survey revealed that retailers’ inventory shrink averaged 1.38 percent of retail sales, or $45.2 billion in 2015, up by $1.2 billion from 2014. According to the report, retailers reported increases in overall inventory shrink with shoplifting accounting for the greatest cause of loss at $377 per incident average, up by $60 from the prior year.

How can this be with retailers using the most advanced technologies? NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention, Bob Moraca said “LP professionals have been working diligently to find advancements in technology aimed at deterring crime in our industry, sometimes even before it happens—but as our techniques get more sophisticated, so too do the criminals.”

So, what is a business to do? Even with the tough job of combating savvy criminals, loss prevention technologies such as video surveillance and access control continue to be your best tool. It is important to stay informed of the latest technologies and evaluate what technologies are relevant and helpful to you. It is also important to leverage those technologies in new, and differently focused ways.

Amplifying Assets with Retail Security Technology

To truly amplify assets, companies must look beyond theft reduction when they think of retail security technologies and think about how these systems can add economic value to every facet of the company, whether it is liability, safety, productivity, consumer analytics, data mining and more.

When you move from a loss prevention singlemindedness, you make your security system investment even more valuable. Here are just a few of the asset amplifying insights you can gain:

  • Know what departments open on time or close early
  • Gain awareness of customer pain points, such as long wait times
  • Identify workflow issues
  • When customer volume increases, you can respond appropriately by opening more registers ahead of need
  • Follow in-stock position and notify vendors when stock is low
  • Identify when products are displayed in a less than optimum position
  • Identify which items should be pulled from one store and placed in another

Security technology is about much more than protecting assets. It is also about increasing value. Security Instrument Corp., is Delaware’s largest full-service independently owned security company, serving thousands of retail and commercial clients throughout Delaware, MD, NJ, and PA, and dedicated to providing systems that not only protect, but also add value.

Most of us think we have some idea of how burglaries happen. The burglar watches the home for signs of occupancy and when the coast is clear, they break a window or kick in a door and proceed to carry off your jewelry and electronics. The problem with that picture? Many times the burglar does not have to pick a lock, break a window or kick open a door, they just turn a knob and walk in completely undetected.

It’s Worse Than You Think

Of the 1,420,000 burglaries reported in the US in 2014, 504,000 -35.2% were categorized as unlawful entry, where the burglar did not have to force entry but simply walked in. When it comes to prosecution, it can make a big difference. What makes it most disheartening to the resident is that it was an error that could have been avoided.

Pro Tip: When you use contact sensors on your doors and windows, you can check their status via your smart phone security app and take care of the problem.

 

Where Security Slips through the Cracks

Life is busy and checking every window and door each time we leave the house can be a bit laborious. Even when we do check, there is usually another family member that comes along to open what we just closed. That is, of course, if we even remembered to do that as we rush out 10 minutes late for just about everything. It happens, but all it takes is it happening once to give the burglar all the opportunity needed to make off with an average of $2,250 worth of valuables per incident.

Smart Security Picks Up the Slack in a Big Way

While forgetting is normal and human failure to be expected, smart security is the big but simple fix. Here’s how using smart, connected devices, smart security, and home automation technologies can reduce the chance of unlawful entry burglary.

  • You’re immediately alerted if you leave a door or window open. When you use contact sensors on your doors and windows, you can check their status via your smart phone security app and take care of the problem. If it is a smart garage door left open or a smart lock left unlocked, you can even close the door and lock the smart locks from your phone.
  • Your doors can lock automatically. If you use geo-location and triggers, you can have your doors all lock when you leave the house.
  • The system can be armed automatically. Also using geo-location and triggers, you can have the smart security system lock the doors then arm itself when you get a predetermined distance from your home.

About Security Instrument

Don’t leave your door wide open to crime. Founded in 1960, Security Instrument Corp. specializes in smart security and associated monitoring services. Professionally engineered systems backed by unmatched professional support.

Catching shoplifters is costly and dangerous according to experts, and is a that liability retailers should avoid. But loss due to shoplifting costs retailers $44 billion annually and is certainly a problem that should be addressed. Experts in the science of crime say the best course of action is to concentrate heavily on deterrence.

Criminals Assess Risk Differently

Do not expect to understand the criminal mind. Even more importantly, do not base your security strategies on what you think they are thinking– because it just won’t work. Criminals do not assess risk the same way as others and what risk they do measure is countered with whatever the perceived advantage in addition to the momentary value, which can include “the thrill of the get”. Criminologists explain that the criminal must “see, get, fear” deterrents— that is they must see them, understand what they do and fear that they work well enough to land them in jail.

Why Deterrence is So Important

Ask any retailer, catching a shoplifter is a lot more difficult than what most people may think. If you suspect a shoplifter, you must have eyes on them from beginning to end and then apprehend them at the last point of sale, or outside the building. Once confronted, the person can become violent and the situation turns dangerous. When you factor in additional costs and risks such as liability issues it is easy to see why a healthy objective would be to deter as much crime as possible in the first place.

2 Important Ways to Thwart Theft

There are two important ways to deter theft. One is by making it too difficult by the use of things like by making it difficult to take an item without notice, such as alarming displays or having the item close to store personnel. The second is by making it too risky by using things like video surveillance and CCTV and having employees make personal contact with each shopper.
These tactics may seem simplistic, but they work with human nature. Criminals know that once they are seen and that eyes are on them it is game over because they are certain to be caught.

The most effective crime deterrent is owning the crime prevention process and fully leveraging security technologies such as video surveillance and CCTV. Security Instrument has been equipping companies since 1960 and understands the retail environment.